Welcome to the website of Susan M. Coles, Artist & Arts, Creativity & Educational Consultant.

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I have never had any problems with writing. Not since I could write, and strangely enough, I had a vivid recollection this morning about a story I wrote when I was nine. It was called Bob Tanner and was all about the day in the life of a sixpenny piece. (Younger readers please note that this was pre-decimal money). I illustrated it as well, little pencil drawings at the bottom of the pages and down the margins. I can even remember the story. It starts off in a sweet shop, which was modelled on my Aunty Margaret’s “corner” shop in Preston. Bob has many adventures as he is given as change to a customer, and heads off around the town, but actually ends up back in the sweet shop at the end of the day. I also remember my mother being asked to come into school so that my teacher, Sister Eugenie, could share it with her.

When I started this blog (that was back in 2010 for goodness sake) I was writing on a much more regular basis. I think it has become less because I am too busy doing other things, and also because I use Twitter to make “statements” these days. At least, that’s what I try to do. I am going to make more time in 2017 to WRITE and more time to CREATE my own art. I enjoy being part of Sketchbook Circle and I am immensely proud to see how this has developed in the past few years. But I also need to start a body of work which has a meaningful thread of thought for me. Strangely enough, it isn’t about “being” an artist, or a career, or exhibitions, its just about me and how I make sense of the world. Art is such a good leveller.

It’s an uneven world isnt it? It is broken in many places, and the use of social media and communication distorts both truth and understanding. At the moment, I am more than tired of the word BREXIT, I am very tired of hearing about Donald Trump. I am tired of politicians full stop. Although, I know that I must persevere with this, because there is good and there is honesty out there, but often this is lost in a fog of ideology, lies, propaganda, power struggles and a lack of personal vision. I like Jeremy Corbyn for example, and yet some of my friends make me feel as if I should apologise about that. I don’t like Donald Trump, but I didn’t see Hillary Clinton as a viable alternative either. And anyway, he isn’t my President. What a sad day for the “great” nation of the USA when they can’t line up a decent choice for that role. But, truthfully, we need to “wait and see”, with all these issues that dominate the headlines. We also need to explore behind the headlines. Seek out truth, seek out what we are genuinely interested in.

We also need to look for the positives, and showcase and celebrate them and sometimes even wallow in them. We need to look beyond the concrete, the manufactured, the obsession with “things”, labels, fashion, sport, money, and a multitude of other twenty first century “sins”. And, that isn’t to say that we abandon them, but let’s start listening to the birds sing, watching the sun rise, enjoying human company away from screen time, not looking at the clock all the time, drawing on a piece of paper, getting our hands dirty in the garden, or just getting our hands dirty in any way, laughing, singing, walking, wandering, staring, kicking leaves, breaking the ice on puddles, and whatever makes you happy. What makes you happy isn’t what an advertisement or jingle tells you makes you happy. What makes you happy can only come from you.

Be true to yourselves always…… and watch this space because I do intend to be more active.


Rachel Atkinson

2728 days ago

Totally agree with everything you’ve written and looking forward to reading the blog again. Happy New Year Susan! x

Susan M Coles

2727 days ago

HNY to you Rachel- look forward to catching up with you soon. X


2727 days ago

Yes- sensible talking here. We value the wrong things these days.


2724 days ago

is this the first blog you have ever written what doesnt mention teaching art then LOL?

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